It seems a good time to go back to the old logs to see how Christmas and New Year have been celebrated previously here on the island. Some things have definitely changed: we don’t get cigarette rations, race seals or wear uniforms anymore!
Please note that until 2000, changeover occurred in Nov/Dec, hence the Christmas date is actually the year before the ANARE date. The 2001 team were here for 18 months as changeover moved from Nov/Dec to March/April and so celebrated two Christmases and New Years on the island.
Station log 12/12/51 — 5th ANARE
Christmas Day. A very happy day. Table very good with three tiered cake, plus Christmas pudding with three penny pieces. One packet of cigarettes and one block of chocolate on each plate. Meal included roast lamb and wild duck… Cricket match in afternoon a great success, the married men winning by 23 runs after two innings each.
Station log 25/12/55 — 9th ANARE
A very happy and enjoyable meal followed by a quiet party that finished at a very early hour of 1130 pm with a discussion between physicists and laymen trying to reconcile the great outer spaces with the mundane everyday life.
Station log 25/12/59 (Christmas took place during resupply/changeover) — 12th ANARE
No work today except for essential duties. Xmas dinner on shore — buffet style lunch for at least 60 persons was highly successful. Presents were distributed by Cap. Peterson and an 18 gallon keg (that will be 68.13 litres in today’s measurements) was drunk in record time. Afternoon diversions included an international seal riding contest.
Station log 25/12/65 — 19th ANARE
All turned up in their ANARE trousers and blazer and wore ties for the pre–dinner cocktails, wine and beer whilst awaiting, I might add with some excitement, the arrival of Santa Claus (John Jenkins) who arrived from a southerly direction on the decorated tractor and trailer.
Station log 31/12/70 — 24th ANARE
The theme of tonight’s great party was “The Debauchery Stakes”. The odds plus a detailed form guide was posted up at dinner time… the party really got underway about 2100 hours and was interspersed with sessions in the sauna and cold water tank (diving for cans of beer).
Station log 24/12/75 — 29th ANARE
Christmas party in Sealers Inn an unqualified ball — with Christmas carols being sung into the wee hours to the tune of Des Parker and Terry at the piano. Several quiet souls broke out of their shells and let their hair down — to their sorrow the next morning.
Station log 25/12/75 — 29th ANARE
A sad and sorry crew turned out for the “Annual Surf Carnival” in Hasselborough Bay — seven starters in the only event braved chill east winds — seals — and icy brine to complete the five metre course in record time — generally a quiet restful day.
Station log 25/12/84 — 38th ANARE
The ingenuity and imagination of some people never ceases to amaze me. The locally–made gifts ranged from artistic and humorous items to lifetime souvenirs of Christmas 1984 at Macquarie Island.
Station Log 31/12/84 — 38th ANARE
Normal work day with early finish to coincide with drinks in the Biolab at 4:30pm… The evening’s festivities started slowly and ended up in the mess. Daylight Savings New Year was ushered in, the Queensland time New Year, then South Australia etc etc…
Station log 31/12/89 — 43rd ANARE
Most people out of bed late after the New Year’s celebrations. Golf competition was held at 1330 with tee off from the hill above Hasselborough House. Some wild shots but no broken windows. Bear put plywood over the most vulnerable windows on the mess.
Station log 25/12/97 — 51st ANARE
Christmas Day started with champagne and croissants for breakfast at 0830am. This lasted all morning during which time a group photo was taken in an effort to get the picture on the Macquarie Island home page on the internet. Unfortunately the Antdiv server was down and attempt failed.
…A few people fell by the wayside as the day progressed but the party continued on into the evening with dancing in the Ham Shack, drinks in the mess and movies in Sealers.
Station log 1/1/98 — 51st ANARE
A quiet start to the day… but definitely not a quiet finish.
After lunch, haggis hurling, caber tossing and golf were held for all starters. The haggises may have started out being hurled in roughly the correct direction, but that’s not how the competition finished. Many a competitor ended up looking like a haggis themselves.
Station log 25/12/00 — 54th ANARE
Christmas dinner was a Gerbil (the chef) masterpiece of seafood, turkey, pork and ham. A bit of mud wrestling, drinking, spa soaking and sleeping made up the rest of the afternoon.
Station log 31/12/01 — 54th ANARE
The weather stayed great, the stars came out and many enjoyed the visit of a pod of killer whales to Garden Cove. Christine and Christian put on a lead melting session where people poured molten lead into a bucket to interpret their future for the year to come from the shape formed. A small band saw the sun rise as they cooked breakfast by the fire.
Station Log 25/12/09 — 62nd ANARE
Secret Santa gifts were handed out by Santa with some people going to a lot of effort to create the original gift. After a spa for some and a rest for others it was back to the mess to set the table for dinner. The centrepiece made by Stevo and Eve with help from others was fantastic and I hope this will be used for more Christmas celebrations in the future. Jimmy put on an exceptional feast for us all to enjoy and enjoy we did before settling into party mode for the rest of the night. No sked with all on station.
Photos are of years that we haven’t seen before.